Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Cyber Dowager Duchess

I just realized that blogging as I have come to know it has changed for me for good. When Jerry and I were in New York earlier this month, my mother, The Dowager Duchess, bought a computer. While we were there, her apartment was wired for internet service and we now Skype weekly and exchange email almost daily. At 84, and with only one semester in a computer class a number of years ago, she is managing to read my blog, watch the videos I post, open email attachments, and do so much more than I (or she, I'm sure) ever anticipated. Especially in such a short time. As she says, "All I really wanted the computer for was so we could Skype."

The problem, for me at least, is now that The Duchess is reading my blog, I have to be careful what I say. First of all, no foul language. Fortunately, I never use foul language when I post. But, you all need to be aware that you, too, must now watch your language when you comment on my posts. The Duchess does not like foul language.

Secondly, I need to make sure I have all my facts straight, especially when I write about The Duchess. She will definitely tell me if I've gotten anything wrong. To be clear, when I tell stories about my family, especially The Dowager Duchess, I never lie. I may embellish a bit (no, I really don't but I'm saying that for the benefit of The Duchess who will read this post), but I never lie.

Also, I need to think twice about how much information I share. The Duchess tends to be a bit more private than her eldest son. For example, I probably shouldn't have told you that The Duchess is 84 years old. Oops, I did it again. But, she is. And, at 84, she has purchased her first computer (and printer/scanner/copier so she can do other things) and is using email, Skype, Microsoft Word, Google, and who knows what else. It's admirable and extremely impressive.

The Duchess knows I shared the story about her friend Harriet and the sailors. I showed it to her. She says I embellished. I did not.

The Duchess has read my story about our trip to the cemetery with my Aunt Lilly and Uncle Aaron. I wrote that story years ago. She loved it. Of course, she told me I exaggerated. I did not.

The Duchess even knows I now refer to her as that, The Dowager Duchess. I figured I had to tell her because she was going to see it here anyway. She found it funny. That was a relief.

So, I plan to continue to freely write my blog without second-guessing and worrying about the "truths" I tell. My mother will probably learn quite a lot more about me. Perhaps more than she'd like to know.

And when the day comes that The Dowager Duchess herself decides she would like to have a blog, she can get her revenge by telling all those embarrassing childhood stories she likes to tell about me. Exaggerating, of course, the way she always does.

In the meantime, remember, no foul language.
The Dowager Duchess is watching.


  1. Drat! And I am one who uses profanity
    I have always said that "profanity is the salt and pepper of the otherwise bland English language stew"

    Oh, well, will adapt...I just like your blog too much to quit commenting and enjoying your adventures.


  2. Raulito:
    I knew that would get you. I even thought of mentioning you by name. But don't worry. Although I may still not be a grown-up, you are, and you can continue to "season" your language as you like. The Duchess will just have to endure. (Truthfully, she's been enduring my language for years. I hear a lot of "MITCHELL!!!")

  3. This is the coolest....if my Mum was with us today she'd be all over this computer stuff. Now let's see if your DD could have her own blog...that would be a no-brainer. Convince her and we could have a good laugh at your expense...sorry! Happy New Year to you, Jerry and DD!!!

  4. sophie...^5(ron):
    The Dowager Duchess has a lot more dirt on me than I have on her. Heaven help me if she ever decides to blog!

    Feliz Año Nuevo to you, Jim, and the beautiful Sophie!

  5. It is a double-edge sword when your family starts reading your blog! Hats off to her (and she looks great by the way) for jumping into the computer thing and mastering it so quickly. Many people at the age of 84 would not be so able and willing.

    My family (when they do read my posts) often think I'm embellishing a bit. They don't know what they are talking about!! : )

  6. Jenners:
    Just received email from The Duchess. She can't read my blog because the type is miniscule and she doesn't know what happened or how to fix it! LOL. (One might think I planned this, except now I have to try and help her fix it from 4,000 miles away.)

  7. Are you kidding me? I live to curse on your blog!
    But really, let me know when The Duchess starts her own blog. I'll Follow right away! And I promise not to talk about you behind your back.

  8. Welcome to the 'blogishere' DD....if I can call you that! You are one brave soul! And I might add you did a good job with the 'boy'! lol

    Mitch, this is a wonderful are so fortunate to still have your mother here and interested in what you are up to.....well up to a point!

    Happy New Year to you and Jerry!!

  9. Happy Birthday Dear Dowager Duchess - and welcome to the World of Blog!

    Mitch, there is nothing wrong with a bit of parental control, DD only has your best interests at heart!

    Joking aside, I think your mother is a wonderful woman and I raise a glass to her.

  10. Ahhh, you are so lucky to have the Duchess. Long live the Duchess.

  11. My mother stays away from computers, but my Dad [88] uses it frequently.

  12. I think it's terrific! Good for her. Ken's mom has a computer that she uses to follow our blogs from across the ocean. That way she knows what he's up to and that he's ok. My aunt does the same. So we're very conscious of what we present on the blogs. Actually, it keeps us honest. And polite. :)

    Happy new year to you and Jerry! And, of course, to the Dowager Duchess of Brooklyn!

  13. Greetings to the Duchess D! What's the new blog address?

    Since these diaries are all getting archived by Google and people with nervous tics someone, somewhere, somewhen is going to invent a computer fast enough to piece together these bits of our lives and reproduce them in serial form with CGI. Then those will be archived and written to crystal (or something) and flown to Mars where someone, sometime and...

  14. Mark:
    I don't know if introducing you and The Dowager Duchess is such a good idea. But I DO know I don't have to worry about you offending her with your language.

  15. Jim:
    The Duchess is currently having a problem with what she calls "shrinking" type on her computer screen. She hasn't yet been able to read this post. Can't wait to get the problem solved so I can hear what she has to say!

  16. Elaine:
    Parental control? The Duchess has, over the years, gotten used to grabbing onto the back of our horse and holding on for dear life.

  17. Cindy:
    With memories of your own Duchess. She definitely would have deserved the title!

  18. Peter:
    My mother doesn't stay away from very much, it seems. It's got be a difficult thing to just pick up at this point.

  19. Walt the Fourth:
    The problem is keeping The Dowager Duchess honest. She IS a New Yorker.

  20. The Owl Wood:
    I think an actual blog address is lightyears off (thank Goddess). First we have to figure out how to change her screen display back to what it was!

  21. How very lucky you are, in so many ways, to be able to have this problem!

  22. What a great lady. Keep writing, Mitch. And Happy New Year to you and yours!

  23. thickethouse:
    Definitely! I wouldn't trade it.

  24. Frank:
    Thanks. Happy New Year to you and yours, as well. I LOVE the photo!

  25. My family ALL can read my blog any time that they wish. In fact, I originally started my blog because I have three sisters and I was weary of having to answer 3 e-mails all the time, since they took offense if I sent one to all.

    They read it for about a month and then tired of it, said that they found my language a bit foul and my religious beliefs saddening. This surprised me since they KNOW I have a foul mouth and am agnostic. But, I guess they thought I would tone it down in my blog....

    Anyway...lovely to meet your mother and I will refrain from letting my inner sailor out....

  26. Mim - The wonderful Mim! I really miss her - hope I meet her in 2012! Happy new year!

  27. Maria:
    I like and respect your religious beliefs and I think your language is expressive. Screw 'em! Please continue to let your inner sailor out. Remember, The Dowager Duchess does have some [limited] history with sailors.

  28. Ellen:
    She still talks about you with love and admiration!

  29. Mitch,
    I ran up against that issue some time ago with my Mother. It was in my post about the BullFight we went to when in Madrid. My language was harsh and profanity laden. Although in my defense, I don't do that often and in this case it was to express my feelings in a strong way, probably could have done it differently.

    About a week after that post, I was at my Parents house for a dinner party when I was taken to task for using such language by my mother. Now I am 46 years, and no matter how old you are, being talked to by your mother for your poor choices still makes me feel 12.

    To the Duchess, Congratulations on your new found freedom of the airwaves, I will be looking for your blog.


  30. Scott:
    LOL. Talk to me in another 11 years.

    Unfortunately, the Duchess is having computing problems these days (changes to display size in Explorer). I've tried from 4,000 miles to help her but haven't been successful yet. It's too frustrating for her. (So, we can swear all we want right now.)

  31. Hi Duchess!!!!
    I have been known to have a bit of a foul mouth, on occasion, but I will most certainly be watching myself here!

    Welcome aboard!

  32. Bob:
    It seems I put the fear of the wrath of The Dowager Duchess in everyone. Really, I'm the only one who has to watch his language... And I won't either!

  33. i'll swear in welsh then...Maggie smith will never know!!!

  34. How wonderful that your Mom is reading your blog. My Mom joined the computer world last year. I get calls about certain blogs. I roll my eyes. We are both happy.

  35. Nubian:
    I'm sure there will be lots of eye-rolls here!


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